San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher walked into the post game conference after defeating UCLA 78-69 by not praising his team but a different group of individuals.
"I'm very, very proud of our crowd, first of all," Fisher joyfully expressed. "They have allowed us to grow our program and they displayed that tonight. Our alums and our students have something to cheer about and they were en masses and in force doing just that."
The announced attendance from the John R. Wooden Classic was 17,204 with about 13,000 of them were SDSU faithful's.
"It was definitely a hostile environment for us, and credit goes to their fans for coming here and supporting," UCLA head coach Ben Howland said.
"It was hard to play out there," UCLA forward Shabazz Muhammad said. "The crowd was erupting and it was difficult. They played really well tonight and the fans went out with a bang."
This was the first matchup between San Diego State and UCLA since 1991.
One thing was for sure. The Aztecs were going to make this game count.
"I told our players that we are appreciative of the fact that UCLA wanted to play us, so let's show them why we're a team that they should want to play with regularity," Fisher said. "I thought it was a really good game with a tremendous crowd."
With the win San Diego State won its national-best 26th consecutive game against teams from the state of California.
"I feel like we did a lot to earn that respect from California teams," Jamaal Franklin said. "I feel like we're the best right now, but I'm not saying we'll be the best forever. We've done a lot to earn that position, but we've got to put this game in the past and move on."
The Kings of California will only get better from this moment on with Virginia transfer James Johnson making his SDSU debut in about two weeks.
"I feel like we are hitting our stride," SDSU guard Xavier Thames said. "We keep on getting better each and every day. We all got to go out and practice hard."
Deshawn Stephens (hip pointer) and Chase Tapley (knee) dealt with injuries all week long but were able to not only play but also effective in the game.
Stephens was able to start the game for the Aztecs as he finished with a season-high 12 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals.
"DeShawn hasn't done one thing since he got hurt last Sunday at USC in terms of on court," Fisher explained. "We had him jog through some stuff on Friday and said you can't touch him, don't him, don't make any contact with him."
"He [Stephens] said to me that ‘I'm playing. Don't worry I'll find a way to play on Saturday.' I was concerned. We weren't going to start him but Tom Abdenour [SDSU trainer] came and said that it would be at DeShawns best interest to warm up to start."
Tapley on the other hand began the game on the bench but was thrown into the mix quickly. He seemed to be hobbling towards the end of the win but had 9 points and 3 assists.
"Chase [Tapley] has been practicing for the past couple days and we knew he would be ready to play," Fisher said. "Chase is a 4-year starter that knows how to play and how to win. I think he displayed that in different segments tonight."
SDSU has a quick turnaround as they plays against Texas Southern at home on Monday.
-Aztecs win its 11th consecutive game against current members of the Pac-12 Conference.
-SDSU forward Jamaal Franklin had an interesting comment regarding playing against the talented freshmen of UCLA.
"You can't really worry about mock drafts and who's better than who," Franklin said. "Just have to worry about playing for your teammates and worry about winning."
"A lot of bigger schools worry about their draft stock, who they are playing against. All we worry about is winning. That's all we focus on doing."
Aztecs pack the Honda Center in the win
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